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Harlem Meatloaf Chili #SundaySupper

This Harlem Meatloaf chili is meaty, thick, and ultra flavorful with just the right amount of heat. 

Harlem Meatloaf Chili |

Today for #SundaySupper we’re having a good old fashioned chili cook-off. Truthfully, the chili cook-off scene terrifies me. For some reason, it gives me visions of being mean-mugged by a giant, burly, overall-clad man who eats habenero peppers raw.

But my overactive imagination isn’t the only thing keeping me away. Honestly, me transferring a giant vat of chili to a competition is a recipe for disaster. If I didn’t spill it all over my car, I’m 99% sure I would trip while rushing to the table and have a full blown chili wipeout right in front of the judges.

Yep, I’d go full scale Kevin on this one.

But this virtual cook-off thing is totally my style. This way I can enjoy everyone’s recipes, take my time, and not be faced with any overly aggressive chili fiends.


Chili is one of my favorite things to make. It’s typically a one pot meal, it’s great for clearing out your fridge, and it’s easy to adjust the seasonings to your liking. The problem is, I’ve never been great at recording my chili recipes. I’m more of a dump and stir kind of girl.

But I knew for the chili cook-off I would have to bring out the big dogs (ie: my measuring spoons), and get some serious inspiration. This time, inspiration came in the form of an old favorite: Harlem Meatloaf. Like the meatloaf, this chili begins with a mixture of Italian Sausage and ground beef. Yes, you should put Italian Sausage in your chili. Trust me.

My husband insisted a meatloaf chili couldn’t have beans, so I added bell peppers and jalapeno instead. From there, the flavor builds with a hefty dose of Frank’s red hot sauce, garlic, chili powder, and cumin.

The end result was good. It was darn good. Spicy, intensely meaty, and super flavorful.


But of course, I couldn’t leave well enough alone. I  really wanted to create the same taste as my favorite meatloaf sandwich, so I did what any other normal, sane person would do and stuck a slice of bread on top of the bowls, smothered it in cheese, and broiled it until golden and bubbly.

Spicy Harlem Chili by

Guys, this is a chili experience. Hearty, comforting, thick meat sauce topped with gooey, melty, cheese bread. It really does taste like a meatloaf sandwich. And like its meatloaf counterpart, this chili gets better and better the longer it sits. So do what we did and make a big batch to enjoy for lunch all week. This is one meal you won’t get tired of.

Would you like to vote for your favorite chili? Check out all my competitors below, then head to the Sunday Supper site to cast your vote! Of course, I would LOVE your votes, but please, be kind. No one likes a mean mugger, least of all me. πŸ™‚

Harlem Meatloaf Chili #SundaySupper

Prep Time 10 minsPrep Time
Cook Time 20 minsCook Time
Total Time 30 mins Total Time
Yields 5


  • 1 lb. Italian Sausage
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
  • 2 15 ounce cans tomato sauce
  • 1 15 ounce can diced tomatoes with juice
  • 3 Tablespoons Franks hot sauce
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 5 slices day-old bread
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese.


  1. Heat a large soup pot or dutch oven over medium heat. Add the Italian sausage and ground beef and break it up with a wooden spoon or metal spatula. Cook for about 5 minutes, or until browned on the outside. Stir in the bell pepper, onion, and jalapeno and cook for another 5 minutes or until no pink remains in the beef. Sprinkle with salt.
  2. Stir in the tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, Franks, garlic, chili, and cumin. Increase the heat to medium high and bring the mixture to a gentle boil. Reduce heat to low then allow everything to simmer together for 5-10 (or more if desired) minutes, stirring often. Taste. Add salt, pepper, or additional Franks red hot sauce for heat if desired.
  3. To serve, preheat the broiler. Place individual servings of the chili in oven safe bowls. Top each bowl with a slice of bread and hefty sprinkling of cheese. Place under the broiler for 3-5 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly. Serve immediately.
  4. Note: This chili tastes best the day after it's made, so feel free to make it in advance and store in the fridge until ready to serve.


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Recipe by Neighborfood

Will YOU be a part of the #SundaySupper Chili Cook-Off judges panel this week? Voting is live at the Sunday Supper Movement Online Community Magazine starting now and concluding (fittingly) on February 27 – National Chili Day! Browse the submissions and cast your vote by clicking HERE!

Beef and Bison Chili

Pork Chili

Chicken, Duck, and Turkey Chili

Mixed (meat combo) Chili

Fish and Seafood Chili

Vegetarian Chili


Best Wines To Pair with Chili #SundaySupper from ENOFYLZ Wine Blog

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. Check out our #SundaySupper Pinterest board for more fabulous recipes and food photos.

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

{ 59 comments… add one }

Leave a Comment

  • Family Foodie February 23, 2014, 3:51 AM

    I love the idea of a Meatloaf Chili… especially when you took it to the next level and made it a sandwich!

  • Liz February 23, 2014, 7:59 AM

    Your chili looks magnificent, Courtney! And I am totally stealing your idea and topping my next bowl with a cheesy toast! YUM!

  • Laura Hunter February 23, 2014, 11:40 AM

    What a great idea with the bread. Love finding new ways to serve favourite dishes.

  • Jennifer Drummond February 23, 2014, 12:47 PM

    I love that you added sausage to your chili! This is a big bowl of perfection!

  • Dorothy at ShockinglyDelicious February 23, 2014, 1:45 PM

    Cheese bread on top = totally sane!

  • Renee Dobbs February 23, 2014, 2:21 PM

    Meatloaf, jalapeno, sausage, oh my! What great inspiration for this chili. Love the video too.

  • Shaina Wizov February 23, 2014, 2:24 PM

    “Dump and stir” seems to be the best method for chili haha it’s a wonder any of us were able to keep track of a recipe!

    • Courtney @ Neighborfood February 25, 2014, 2:35 PM

      I know! I was wondering if other people were having the same issue. I had to actually measure each time I added spice until it was just right. Not the usual for me. πŸ™‚

  • Tara February 23, 2014, 2:48 PM

    Love the Italian sausage in your chili!! I made some not that long ago using it and loved it, your chili is gorgeous!!

    • Courtney @ Neighborfood February 25, 2014, 2:35 PM

      Thanks Tara! I really enjoyed the sausage too. I think I’ll add it to my classic chili from here on out.

  • Alice Choi February 23, 2014, 3:55 PM

    oh my gawd, that video is hilarious! I feel the same way. . I actually shoot everything downstairs b/c that’s where I get my best light so I am always carrying everything downstairs. . anyway, as I was carrying my slow cooker down there, I had visions of myself dropping the whole damn thing all over the carpet. . thank God that didn’t happen. πŸ™‚ Spicy, intensely meaty, and super flavorful, your chili looks and sounds fabulous!

    • Courtney @ Neighborfood February 25, 2014, 2:36 PM

      Haha! I’m so glad I’m not the only clumsy one of the bunch. It seems like I’m always making messes. πŸ™‚

  • Hezzi-D February 23, 2014, 5:39 PM

    I am loving the slice of bread with cheese on top! Great idea!

  • Melanie | Melanie Makes February 23, 2014, 8:10 PM

    Meatloaf chili? Sign me up!

  • Julie @ Texan New Yorker February 23, 2014, 9:31 PM

    This looks so amazing! I thought that the meatloaf you referenced was from the Lee Bros (I have all their books). How cool, and this looks delicious. Definitely pinning to try soon, thanks!

    • Courtney @ Neighborfood February 25, 2014, 2:21 PM

      Their Harlem Meatloaf is SO GOOD. I don’t like pickles, so I usually leave those out, but I love the spiciness of it.

  • Amanda M February 23, 2014, 9:48 PM

    Ummmm…yummm?!?! I’ll be waiting for my bowl please!

  • manusmenu February 23, 2014, 10:48 PM

    Ohhh look at that cheesy bread!!! I would love a bit of that, now!!! What a great topping idea Courtney!

  • Sarah | Curious Cuisiniere February 24, 2014, 11:46 AM

    This chili was sounding even more delicious the more I read, and then I got to the cheesy bread! You have seriously outdone yourself with this chili!

  • Katie February 24, 2014, 12:13 PM

    Oh man, adding the bread and cheese and broiling on top?!?! Heavenly!!!! And I am laughing out loud reliving that scene from The Office….

    • Courtney @ Neighborfood February 25, 2014, 2:20 PM

      It’s definitely my favorite Kevin moment. And I know I would totally do the same thing if I attempted it. πŸ™‚

  • Jane's Adventures in Dinner February 24, 2014, 3:30 PM

    I love that scene too! So me. Your chili is gorgeous BUT that cheesy bread-sign me up!

  • Julie February 28, 2014, 11:47 PM

    Oh, I have forgotten about that Kevin clip. Thanks for the laugh!

  • L.A. Brown March 1, 2014, 7:46 PM

    I’m with you. I’ve entered many a chili cookoff and it’s a lot of hauling and a lot of work. I prefer this virtual style much better. This is the 2nd recipe I’ve seen with hot sauce. I’ll be shaking a few drops in my next batch.

  • Soni March 2, 2014, 12:06 PM

    Ooh look at that gorgeous color on your chili!!Love Italian Sausage and its such a great addition with such depth of flavor.I can almost taste the deliciousness πŸ™‚

  • Lee Ann July 29, 2014, 6:39 PM

    I just made this chili. I usually don’t like things really hot. This is good. I didn’t put the cheese on. Next time I will. I like to read the comments. Everyone comes on and says how great it sounds but usually no one ever come backs and lets you know how it actually was. I wish more people would.

    • Courtney @ Neighborfood July 30, 2014, 6:22 PM

      I agree with you about the comments. It’s so nice when people come back and leave reviews, so I appreciate you taking the time to do this. I’m so glad you enjoyed it!

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